Water Activated Tape | Packing & Shipping Tips

How to Use Gummed Tape Most Effectively for Shipping

Better Packages

By: Better Packages on November 11th, 2019

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Gummed paper tape, also called water-activated tape or WAT, provides many advantages over other types of tape, including faster application, a professional one-strip seal, enhanced security, and branding opportunity. If you’ve made the switch to gummed tape, there are best practices that can help you maximize the value of your investment.


Gummed Tape Best Practices for Shipping 

Ensure Proper Station Setup

The first step in getting the most from your gummed paper tape is ensuring that your shipping station is equipped and arranged for optimal efficiency, productivity, and safety

If you’ve selected electric water-activated tape dispensers, you’ll need a power source. Proper lighting is also important so that team members can observe the condition of cartons in general and after sealing. 

You’ll also want to ensure your shipping station has enough space for efficient handling of packages. An advantage of sealing packages with WAT is that it doesn’t require the amount of repositioning needed to get the proper angle with a tape gun. So, if your company is short on shipping space, gummed tape can help you use it effectively.


Provide Effective Training for Your Shipping Team

Water-activated tape and water-activated tape dispensers are easy to use. However, providing initial training for your shipping team can ensure that they make the transition from hand-held tape guns to WAT efficiently and reach a high level of productivity quickly. 

It’s also a good idea to develop an approved process for getting new employees up to speed and using your preferred shipping processes. This may be more effective than having another employee provide their perspective on the shipping process, as you don’t want any non-standard techniques they may have developed to be taught to new team members.

Ensure Necessary Tools and Supplies are Available

In order to maximize both the productivity of your shipping team and the safety and comfort of team members, it’s important that you provide them with the right tools. 

This starts with selecting the right water-activated tape dispenser for your needs. For example, are you shipping several cartons per day or perhaps dozens or hundreds of cartons? This will affect whether a manual or electric dispenser is best for your operation.

What other tools and supplies does your shipping team need? 

Do you have enough gummed tape on hand? Are there plenty of shipping labels at the station? Do your team members have relief mats to stand on and are supplies stored in a way that minimizes awkward reaching? 

There are many ways to streamline operations and protect your employees.


Use the Right Cartons

Water-activated tape works well with a variety of carton types. However, there are differences between options like standard cardboard and corrugated cardboard when it comes to protecting the contents of a shipping carton. 

Choosing the right type for your requirements is important. In instances where damage prevention is critical, corrugated cardboard sealed with WAT is an approach that delivers many benefits. 

For some items, you might also have the option of using padded mailers. There may be advantages to doing so, but you should carefully compare padded mailers and shipping cartons before you make that decision.  


Getting Big Returns from a Small Investment

In the context of your overall operations, making the switch to gummed paper tape requires a relatively small investment, and it’s one that delivers a significant return. Then, if you take the time to update your packing and shipping processes and set your team up for success, you can greatly amplify those benefits!

Wondering if water-activated tape and water-activated tape dispensers are right for your organization? 

Get a free copy of A Guide For Tape Dispensing Performance Solutions and a complimentary roll of WAT to help inform your decision making.

We’re also happy to answer your questions. Contact us at your convenience.


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About Better Packages

Founded in 1917, Better Packages is a leading manufacturer of tabletop water-activated tape (WAT) dispensers used in carton sealing. Better Packages’ product line includes auto-dispensing electric machines that are used in high volume fulfillment centers, as well as manual dispensers. In the U.S., Better Packages sells through multiple channels that include industrial and packaging distributors and catalog wholesalers, as well as direct to end-user customers. Its distribution network consists of over 160 authorized distributors including Tier 1 shipping and packaging. Better Packages also has another 50 international distributors that service over 70 countries. Better Packages is a wholly owned subsidiary of Intertape Polymer Group (IPG), an acknowledged leader in the packaging industry. IPG sells a full line of Central® water-activated tape, as well as many other premier packaging products.